Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5320 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Gems from April 2015

"As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” 
(Matthew 8:13)

And this is the Voice of the miracle wrought here through the hand of Elisha (2 Kings 4:2). 
For as long as the poor widow produced her vessels, the pot produced its oil. 
The oil waited on the vessels. The vessels were the measure of the oil. 
In other words, divine power waited on faith,­ faith measured the active resources of God on the occasion

This was like the Lord, of old, standing with Abraham. 
For as long as Abraham stood interceding, the Lord stood promising. (Genesis 18:17-33)
This blessed grace of God has its illustration here. But there is another thing. 
"What hast thou in the house?” (2 Kings 4:2)said the prophet to the woman.
 As Jesus afterward said to His disciples, "How many loaves have ye?” (Mark 6:38) ­ 
He had said to Moses at the hill, "What is that in thine hand?” (Exodus 4:2). 

For it is suitable, that whatever we have should be put to use
(J.G. Bellett - D.H.)

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What is a Christian

“Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
(Ephesians 2:13)

We do not become Christians by being born of Christian parents,
or because our lot has been cast in what is called a Christian country,
or because we have been religiously educated,
or by attending to any outward ordinances,
or by being associated with any who are truly saints of God.
No, we only become Christians by having to do with Christ and His atoning blood.

Whatever may have been our previous history or character, 
we are far from God and enemies to God till we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son.

If I were asked to give, in a few words of Scripture, the true definition of what a Christian is,
I do not think I could give a better reply than we find in the latter part of this verse -
one who was far off but is now in Christ made nigh to God by His blood.
(H.H. Snell)  

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April 1

Watching and Waiting

"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”
(Luke 12:43)

“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. . . . Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

"The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
(James 5:8)

“Surely I come quickly. Amen.”
(Revelation 22:20) 

I do not have a car on campus at the college I attend, so I’m dependent on others for transportation each week.
There have been several times, as I have been standing outside, waiting for my ride to come to pick me up, that I would realize I had forgotten to do  something in my dorm.
When this happens, my initial response is to consider whether to go back to my room to take care of the situation.
However, rather than going back, usually I would stay right where I was, for a very simple reason.
I was expecting the person who was coming for me to appear at any moment.    
I wanted to be there, waiting and ready, nor did I want to make them late.

In thinking about this, the Lord has taught me that the hope of His coming 
should have an effect on how I am waiting for Him

Does the truth of His coming (the rapture) keep me from going places and doing things that I ought not, because I am expecting His return at any moment
(D. Barr - Adapted)

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April 2

“And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought (worked): for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”
(Acts 18:3)

Paul, who laboured tirelessly for his Saviour, 
was willing to work with his hands when necessary - 
a wonderful spirit as well as an excellent example!
And his secular work was perfectly in keeping with his ministry - making tents.
Paul’s ministry is specially occupied with the church and its glorious Head in heaven.

Those who are passing through this world as pilgrims and strangers morally need tents rather
than permanent buildings in which to dwell.

May every aspect of our lives be temporary in nature - we are not here long.
(Doug Nicolet - TCS - January 2003)

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April 3

"The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)

His head - And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, He said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.John 19:2 & 30
His face - Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Matthew 26:67
As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: Isaiah 52:14

His cheeks - I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50:6
His back - I gave my back to the smiters, Isaiah 50:6  The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. Psalm 129:3

His eyes - Jesus wept. John 11:3  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Luke 19:41
His mouth - I have prayed for thee - Luke 22:32
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. John 17:9

His shoulders - And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Luke 15:5

His hands - What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Zachariah 13:6  they pierced my hands Psalm 22:16
His side - But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.  John 19:34

His feet - they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalm 22:16
His life - one man should die for the people John 11:50
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  John10:15

His blood - For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  Matthew 26:28
His body - This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Luke 22:19

His soul - Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:  Matthew 26:28
His ALL Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  (Matthew 13:44)


He left the splendor of heaven knowing His destiny

Was the lonely hill of Golgotha where He laid down His life for me.

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" 

(2 Corinthians 8:9).

"What could have been done more . . . that I have not done. . . . " (Isaiah 5:4)


"They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done this” (Psalm 22:31)
(D. Hopkins)

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April 4

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”
(2 Corinthians 5:19) 

It is always comforting to know that everything that God has done in this world, 
He has done through imperfect instruments.
He has never had a perfect instrument.
I do not think of Jesus as an instrument, He was God - 
His prophets, preachers, pastors, evangelists, teachers, apostles, they are all imperfect. 
A Peter denied his Lord, 
even as a John and a James were ambitious to sit one on the right hand and 
one on the left hand of the Lord in His kingdom, 
and a Paul made a mistake at the last and insisted on going up to 
Jerusalem against the voice of the Spirit. 
Even the best of God’s servants have failed, and yet how gracious of Him to use them.
He uses the message they bring, 
the truth they proclaim.
He will deal with His servants Himself about their failure, 
but He will use the message when Christ is lifted up.   
(Selected)

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April 5

"When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 
(1 Peter 5:4)

The Lord Jesus is spoken of as the Good Shepherd who gave hIs life for the sheep.
Now as the Chief Shepherd, 
He is coming again to reward those 
who have cared for the sheep in His absence -
Those who in the midst of their everyday affairs took the time and 
exercised patience and expended energy to care for the Lord’s own sheep.
For such there is often little in the way of reward here.
But the Chief Shepherd is coming and He will give a crown of glory.
What an encouragement for the under-shepeherds of the flock of God.
Keep on!
(Reg L. Jordan)

When the Chief Shepherd shall appear each faithful watcher to relieve,
Such, for their toil and sorrow here, a crown of glory shall appear.
(W.Blane)
  
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April 6

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
(Romans 8:1)

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
(Colossians 3:3)

If I am hidden in Christ, there can be no condemnation for me.
Can God condemn what is in His Son?
Can God find fault with Him?
Satan cannot stand against one who is in Christ:
All condemnation will roll back against Satan; there is none for me.
I rejoice in Christ as a life-giving Spirit, not merely as One who brought me out of “Egypt", but as
One with whom I am united in life: the One smitten on Calvary, 
raised from the dead, a life-giving Spirit in heaven.
Death may be stamped on every particle of the first Adam in me, but the spirit of life in the last 
Adam (Jesus Christ) has made me free from the law of sin and death;
It makes me know that Christ is my life, the stream of life is flowing down from Him to me,
leading me on in life in the Spirit because the Spirit of God dwells in me, and
I am not in the flesh but in the Spirit. 
(G.V. Wigram - Gleanings)

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April 7

"And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for . . . our soul loatheth this light bread.” 
(Numbers 21:5)

So spoke Israel against God and against Moses.
The Manna, type of the incarnate Son of God in all His perfections and beauties,
upon whom we feed, was deemed to be “worthless bread.”
Ah yes, they had fond memories about the food of Egypt (Numbers 11:5),
but they readily forgot their bondage and slavery.
How sad when Christians have no appetite for feeding upon Christ,
and whose yearnings are for the fleshpots of Egypt.
May the Lord wean our souls away from such things,
to find our only satisfaction in Him.
(W.H. Burnett)

"Now none but Christ can satisfy, none other name for me,
There’s light and life, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus found in Thee.”
(Emma F. S. Bevan - 1827-1909)

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April 8

“But now once in the end of the world, hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."
(Hebrews 9:26)

“ ‘It is finished,' sin is conquered hear the Saviour’s call,
Christ has died to bear sin’s judgment, suffering, once for all.” 

A boy once asked me, “Does Jesus die each Easter?"
How wonderful to be able to tell him that when the Lord Jesus cried,
“IT IS FINISHED,” (John 19:30)
the work of salvation was complete.
No further sacrifice for sin was needed.
No lambs, no bulls, no goats were required again,
for that one supreme sacrifice was completely sufficient for all time,
for all the sin of the world.
May we rejoice today in the fullness of His atoning death and glorious resurrection.
(J. Fleming)

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April 9

“Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe.”
(Psalm 119:117)

“And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope.”
(Job 11:18)

The path is not easy.
There are rough stones over which we may stumble, if we are not walking very carefully.
There are places which look quite smooth, 
but they are more dangerous that the rough ones, for they are slippery.
How are we to walk safely along such a path?
We want a strong, kind hand to hold us up, and to hold us always;
a hand that will hold ours so tightly and lovingly, that it will be as the old 
Scotch woman said, “Not my grip of Christ, but Christ’s grip of me!”

Yes, Christ’s loving hand is "able to keep you from falling”; only let your hand be restfully 
in the hand of Jesus, and “then shalt thou walk in Thy way safely, and they foot shall not stumble.” 
But do not say, "Hold Thou me up,” and stop there, or add, “But all the same, I shall stumble and fall!”
Finish with the bright words of faith that He puts into your mouth,
“Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe!”
So you will, if you will trust Him to do just what you ask, and let Him hold you up.
(Francis Ridley Havergal)  

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April 10

“I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” 
(Psalm 119:162)

This well known verse is often interpreted giving the sense of “treasure” to the word “spoil”.
Assuredly the Word of God is an incomparable treasure, but the word spoil has a more precise meaning.
Spoil speaks of that which is precious.  
Yet it means more than a treasure.
It is the result of conquest (Deuteronomy 20:14), effort and deep research.
The meaning gives us to understand that the treasures of 
God’s Word are only accessible through expended effort.
In nature, the treasures of the earth are only accessible
after digging deep and searching diligently -
as with gold or other precious metals or stones.
Pearls also are buried - in the depths of the ocean.
The ground and the sea only yield their riches after toil and energy are spent.
It is so with the things of God.  
Eternal salvation is freely accessible and offered to all (being received by simple faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the across).
But, in contrast, the infinite depths of the revelation of God cannot be sounded in any measure save by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10) and  by diligence of  spirit.
The spoil is there, waiting to reveal its secret treasures to those who so desire it 
that they are willing to search diligently for it (Matthew 7:8).
(Michele Payette)

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April 11

“. . .  How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God . . . hath given you?”
(Joshua 18:3)

Never be ashamed of 
asking, seeking, and knocking at the storehouse of God’s omnipotence.
When we admit our helplessness to meet needs, 
we are expressing our dependence on God. 
That is the faith that moves mountains.
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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April 12

“Consider the lilies of the field.”
(Matthew 6:28)

“Behold the fowls of the air.”
(Matthew 6:26)

Here, where His hand hath lowly planted me,
My days are spent.
Nor ask I more: assured that where His will
Hath fixed my lot, His grace will nourish still,
I am content.

Yet, like yon bird that carols high overhead,
My sprit’s free.
Far, far above the toilsome troubled scene,
I soar and sing, with not a cloud between
My God and me.
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S. Tait)

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April 13

Are You Drinking of It?

“Giving thanks unto the Father . . . who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us us into the kingdom of His dear Son (margin: ‘the Son of His love’).”  (Colossians 1:12-13)

Are you familiar with that grace of the Father in having chosen and accepted you in the
Son of His love before the foundation of the world?
It separates from the world.
The powers of darkness are releasing a vortex of evil of every kind, and 
many a child of God will be caught in it if not walking with God.
Some, like Lot, may have to be dragged up out of Sodom.
God wants us to experience His love in such largeness 
that we have a fountain overflowing from heaven.
Are you drinking of it?
(G.V. Wigram)

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April 14

“And . . . Jesus Himself drew near and went with them."
(Luke 24:15)

Another version reads, “Jesus himself caught up with them and walked along.”  .
The road often leads through green pastures, and beside the still waters, more often through long valleys, shadowless and deep, over mountains unscalable; 
but let us ask no question concerning the road as we journey, 
for the road leads Home and He Himself is with us.
A special cause for thankfulness lies in the fact that 
the chosen path never proves to be a blind alley.
The road is a thoroughfare.
A Red Sea may confront the traveler, but only to reveal a way through.
The wayfarer’s Pathfinder made the passage through and will 
keep it clear until the last traveler is safely over.
We travel together in company with our risen Lord.
Sharing common joys and sorrows, enjoying each other’s experiences and discoveries,
the travelers go from company to company until the last bend in the road 
brings them into the midst of the innumerable company already at Home.
(Traveling Towards Home)

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April 15

"It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.“
(1 John 3:2)

A Scottish preacher, who had contended manfully for the great truth of the
Atonement in places where it was denied, lay dying. 
Before he passed away, a friend visited him and spoke warmly of what the dying man 
had endured in bearing witness to the redemptive sacrifice of the Son of God. 
But the servant of the Lord said:
Ah! my brother, I am going to a place where the 
Atonement is no longer the subject of controversy,
but the theme of the everlasting song.”
Shall we be in error if we say that the only things in heaven which will remind us of sin will be 
the marks of the wounds by which it was put away? 

“Those dear tokens of His passions still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation to His ransomed worshippers.”
(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care” 

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April 16

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.”
(Hebrews 6:19) 

In the New testament, the word “hope” becomes one of the great words that Christ gave us.  It was a word often used before but it has received new and wonderful meaning because the Saviour took it into His mouth.

Hope is the music, the drift and direction of the whole Bible.  It sets the heartbeat and atmosphere of the Bible, meaning as it does desirable expectation and pleasurable anticipation!

Human hope will fail and throw us down.  But the Christians’s hope is alive.  The old English word “lively” meant what the word “living”means now; the word coming from God Himself for it is the strongest word in the Bible for life.  It is the word used of God Himself when it says He is the Living God.  So it is that God takes a Christians’s hope and touches it with Himself and imparts His own “livingness” to the hope of the believer.

The true Christian hope is a valid hope!  We have been born of God.  There has been a new creation.  No emptiness there, no vanity, no dreams that can’t come true.

We have no great place of beauty in this world - Taj Mahal, Buckingham Palace or the White House - that can compare with the glory that belongs to the true child of God who has known the major miracle, who has been changed by an inward operation of supernatural grace unto an inheritance, a living hope!

Your expectation should rise and you should trust God, and begin to dream high dreams of faith and spiritual anticipation.  Remember, you cannot out-hope the living God!  (Renewed Day By Day - A.W. Tozer)

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April 17

THE WORDS OF THE LORD

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth.” 
(Psalm 12:6)

As we meditate upon God's Word it strengthens the intellect, gives clarity to our judgment, enlarges our vision, 
purifies our hearts, establishes our faith, quickens our minds, and brings wholeness to our life. 
Its truth and principles will radically change our life from our sinful self-centered life-style to a life 
that seeks to live for the glory of God. 
This is God's work of grace in our life when we yield in utter surrender to His lordship. 
How life-changing His Word is when we appropriate its promises and make them a reality in our life. His promises to us are inconceivable. 

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: 
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped 
the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).

The story is told of a young boy who was born blind. 
As he grew older his mother tried to tell him of the beauty of God's creation. 
One day they learned of a physician that specialized in eye surgery for the blind. 
They operated on the young boy and there was much hope that he would be able to see. 
The day came when the bandages were to be removed from his eyes and the moment of truth would be revealed. 
His mother and the physician led him to the garden of the hospital and there removed the bandages. 
He opened his eyes to unbelieving beauty, to the wonder and beauty of God's creation. 
"Oh mother, why didn't you tell me how beautiful everything is?” 
Through tears of joy and thankfulness she said, 
"I tried to tell you, but you could not understand or comprehend it all unless you could see it.
(Daily Devotions - Adapted)

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April 18

“. . . there was given to me a thorn in the flesh . . . lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak then I am strong"  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

“. . .  of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.” (12:5)

“It takes a real faith to trace the rainbow through the rain; but it takes the storm cloud to make the rainbow.”  

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe, that in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray, that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red life that shall endless be.
(Written by George Matheson, the blind preacher of Scotland)

Some time before George wrote this song, he went through a time of deep heartbreak when his fiancé broke off their engagement after she learned that he was going blind. She told him, “I can not go through life with a blind man.”
Years latter, the occasion of his sister’s wedding brought a fresh reminder of his heartbreak. 
"It was the day of my sister's marriage...Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, 
and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. 
It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. 
I had the impression rather of having it dictated to me by some inward voice than of working it out myself…  this came like a dayspring from on high. 
I have never been able to gain once more the same fervour in verse. 
  (George Matheson - Sam Ludvicek)

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April 19

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.”
(Revelation 1:1)

- That Book must be worth reading, that hath God for the author.

- It is not enough to have truth on our side, if we have not truth in our hearts.

 - He that maintains any error from the Bible, bears false witness against God.

- The gospel, what is it, but God’s heart in print.

- The work of salvation cannot be done by the cable-light of a natural understanding, 
but by the sunlight of a gospel revelation. 
(W. Gurnall)

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April 20

“My times are in Thy hand.”
(Psalm 31:15)

It is impossible to be submissive and religiously patient, if ye stay your thoughts down among the confused rollings and wheels of second causes
as 
O, the place!
O, the time!
O, if this had been, this had not followed!
O, the linking of this accident with this time and place!
Look up to the master motion and the first wheel.
(Samuel Rutherford - 1600-1661)

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April 21

Prove it!

"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may lack of nothing.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:12)

“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, evens as He walked.”
(1 John 2:6)
It is related that the famous French artist Gustave Dore was once wandering 
in the mountains of Switzerland,
when some officials met him and demanded his passport. 
"I do not have it with me," he replied, "but my name is Gustave Dore.” 
"Prove it, if you are," replied the officers, knowing who Dore was--but not believing that this was he. 
Taking a piece of paper, the artist hastily sketched a group of peasants who were standing near, 
and did it with such grace and skill that the officials exclaimed, "Enough, you are Dore!"
In the same way, the world cares little for a mere profession. 
We say we are Christians, and the challenge is, "Prove it!” 
If we are of Christ, then we must do the works of Christ, 
live the life of Christ, and show the spirit of Christ. 
The artist's skillful drawing proved his identity. 
Just so, we must prove that we are the followers of our 
Master by the love, the grace, the beauty, the holiness of our life.
Religion is not merely a matter of creed and profession, 
or of church-going and public worship; it is far more a matter of daily life. 
It is not how we behave on Sundays, 
nor the kind of creed we hold, nor the devoutness of our worship—
it is the way we act at home, in school, in business, in society, in our associations with others. 
It is vitally important that all who profess Christ--shall manifest 
Christ's beauty in their life and character. 
It is not enough to preach the gospel in words alone; 
others must also read it in our daily life. 
(Selected)

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April 22

“My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
(Psalm 121:2)

"We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true."
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

Our God is a wonderful source of strength, comfort, peace, and hope.
Each of these graces find all their fullness in Him.
Yet so often He is not the first one that we turn to when in need.
Instead we look to others to try self-help or some other earthly aid.
May we rather look to the Lord God Almighty - 
The One who fully understands us and has omnipotent power to help us.
Today, let us turn afresh to Him -
He will not disappoint!
(Pete Smith)

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April 23

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”
(John 12:3)

“After this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus . . .  And there came also Nicodemus . . . and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, 
about an hundred pound weight.”
(John 19:38-39)  

These two scriptures are set in contrast.
The first tells of the devotion of a loving heart, that expressed itself when the Saviour was alive;
The second, of devotion that was shown to our Lord after He was dead.
Mary’s gift weighed one pound; Nicodemus’ gift weighed one hundred pounds.  
Did he try to make up for the lateness of his tribute, by its largeness?
The one shows the helpfulness of timely kindness; the other, the futility of post-mortem kindness.  

There are heart lessons her for us all. 
Do not keep the Alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead.
Fill their lives with sweetness.
Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them, 
and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier by them;
the kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say before they go.
(Winsome Christianity - Henry Durbanville)

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April 24

“The word of the wise are as goads.”
(Ecclesiastes 12:11)

- Sinners dying in their sins, 
cannot hope to have a better 
resurrection than they have a death.

- Since man was turned out of paradise, 
he can do nothing without labour, 
except sin.

- We must either lay self aside, 
or God will lay us aside.
(The Christian in Compete Armour - William Gurnall (1617 -1678)

N.J. Hiebert - 5867

April 25

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
(Proverbs 25:11)

- The affections go before the feet.

"Laying aside all malice, . . . desire the sincere milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:1, 2),
is like ploughing the ground before you put the seed in.

- You can’t do without an object; and the object maintains you.

- All God’s estimates of Him (Jesus) are framed already in the Word.
(Hunt’s Sayings - Rochfort Hunt )

N.J. Hiebert - 5868

April 26

"Let us lay aside every weight.”
(Hebrews 12:1a) 

"Get rid of your burden, you’ve carried it long,
Take it to Jesus, He’s loving and strong.
He will remove it, sorrow will cease,
And He will give you heavenly peace.”
(Author Unknown)

There is no rule against wearing boots to go jogging, but common sense tells us otherwise.
Likewise, there are some issues in our daily Christian experience for which there is no Scriptural directive,
but “spiritual” sense suggest such baggage works against us.
Weight is simply an excess of things that make us bulge or bend.  
We need to be focused and streamlined as we run the race toward eternity.
As free as I think I might be, I need to ask myself,
"Will this practice slow me down and gain mastery over me?”
If so, lay it aside!
(C. Funston)

N.J. HIebert - 5869 

April 27

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose . . .  
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been . . .”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,15)

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” 
(Hebrews 13:8)

You may yourself ebb and flow, rise and fall, wax and wane;
but your Lord is this day as He was yesterday;
and it is your comfort that your salvation
is not rolled upon wheels of your own making,
neither have you to do with a Christ of your own shaping.
(Samuel Rutherford - 1600 -1661)

N.J. Hiebert - 5870

April 28

“But he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”
(Luke 22:26)

A kind word of praise, of sympathy, of encouragement; it would not cost you much, 
yet how often does pride, or envy, or indifference prevent you from speaking it?
The cup of cold water, the barley loaves, the two farthings, 
how often  are we too wretched and too self-absorbed to give even these!
And are we not to give them because we cannot endow hospitals, or write epics?
If we be in the least sincere, in the least earnest, let us be encouraged.
The little gifts of our poverty, the small services of our insignificance, 
the barley loaves of the Galilean boy on the desert plain, 
the one talent of poor dull persons like ourselves, are despised by the world.
But they are also dear.     They are accepted.
They will be infinitely rewarded by Him who gives the conies their homes in the rocks,
who knows every sparrow’s fall; who numbers the very hairs of our heads;
who builds the vast continents by the toil of the coral insect,
and by His grains of sand stays the raging of the sea.
(Frederic W. Farrar - 1895)

"It is so little I can do!  It is so little I can say!
Nay, but what God demands of you is just that little: Hear - obey.”
(J.L.M.W.)

N.J. Hiebert - 5871  

April 29

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
(John 3:7)

Conversion, repentance, being born again and faith all go together, 
yet I must believe it in order to get it,
and still they all go together.
“Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus;”
To be a child You must believe.
A blow and pain are identical as to time, though I must give the blow in order to [have] the pain.
Where there is not that settled estimate of the will and mind that looks back 
and judges everything under grace in the power of the Word, 
there is repentance and judgment of self all one’s life.
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 5872  

April 30

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, 
though He be not far from every one of us:for in Him we live, 
and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own 
poets have said, for we are also His offspring.” 
(Acts 17:27 - 18:2)

A person who is blind feels after a thing, seeking to find it by touch.
What an indictment of the Athenians, so proud of their intellect 
and philosophical abilities!  Paul could not have been more plain: 
their wisdom and philosophy was less than worthless in 
gaining knowledge of the true God.
The reality was that they were reduced to feeling - 
searching for God as those blinded by their minds (2 Corinthians 4:4).
But in this very thing, the grace of God is clearly proclaimed by the Apostle:
“Though He be not far from every one of us.”    

What a difference it would make in our daily walk and joy as believers if we really, in faith,
laid hold of how close our blessed God is - so close that at any moment we are welcome into
His presence before the “throne of grace,” so close that His Spirit dwells within each believer
and so close that out blessed Jesus will “never leave . . . nor forsake” His own
(The Christian Shepherd - December 2002 - Page 331)

N.J. Hiebert - 5873

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